MP3tunes, a new digital music store started by Michael Robertson, founder and former CEO of MP3.com, opened for business on the Internet. Songs are available for download from the MP3tunes site for $0.88 per song or $8.88 per album.
All music sold at MP3tunes will work on any computer and with any portable player including popular models like the Apple iPod, Dell DJ and Creative Nomad. Songs that have been purchased are permanently stored in a "music locker" and accessible from any Web browser. Even if a computer crashes or a user switches machines, the music is saved and can be accessed without repurchasing.
MP3tunes only offers songs for purchase and download that are legally licensed for distribution from the copyright holders. More than 22,000 artists are participating in the launch of MP3tunes, and 300,000 songs representing nearly 30,000 complete CDs are now available for purchase in 192k MP3 format.
MP3tunes differs from other online music services such as Apple's iTunes and Microsoft's MSN Music Store because it does not use digital restrictions management (DRM) technology, which restricts how a buyer can use the music. DRM restrictions limit what software or computer can be used to listen to the music and also limit what types of portable players will work. Songs in the open MP3 format, like those found at MP3tunes, are the most flexible for consumers because the songs work with a wide array of software players such as iTunes and Windows Media Player and are also compatible with virtually all digital players or computers, including the iPod series.